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An Unforgettable Great White Shark Diving Experience!
Here is another story, guys – it’s been a crazy weekend again. We’ve had a “Once-in-a-life-time-experience” this weekend: driving on the left side of the road for the second time and an amazing shark cage dive. We had some companions with us: Niels’ brother Maarten and Mathijs, another student from our school, who is doing his internship in Genadendal. So we took them along with us for this weekend.
Renting a Car is Easy?
We had to rent a car as the shark diving was in Gansbaai, quite a distance from Cape Town. So we searched the internet for a nice looking car at ‘Rent a Cheapie’. Niels booked the car on Tuesday and we took the bus on Friday, to the designated bus station near the car rental. When we were in the bus, Niels opened what he thought was a confirmation email, except this email said they were fully booked.
After going there to check this we called one of the other car rentals. There were some cars available but only at the airport. So let’s go to the airport then… where we rented a Chevrolet Spark. As quickly and safely as we could, we travelled home, to get some stuff and pick up Maarten and Mathijs. We had some navigational problems on our way home, so it took some time. When we left for Gansbaai it was already eight o’clock PM, not the planned six o’clock.
Getting to Gansbaai Hostel
We left around eight o’clock PM for Gansbaai, me driving and Niels navigating, with the other three stuffed in the back of our small Chevy. It was quite a drive and we couldn’t see the scenery because it was already dark. We didn’t see a lot except for the odd person walking, at the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere. Oh, and there was a car driving in front of us without any lights, on this godforsaken road! After a two and half hour drive we dropped Mathijs at his hostel and then went to our own. Maarten had booked this for us and it was really luxurious: a bathroom that was almost as big as our living room at home, king size bed and some beers from the fridge. Potentially our last night, but sleeping like kings!
Amazing Shark Cage Diving!
We got up early with an amazing view of the sea. Niels picked up Mathijs before we got to the “Shark Diving Company”. We were given some breakfast and then a safety briefing. Apparently you can’t stick your hands out of the cage, bummer! After the briefing we hit the water and boated for a half an hour to a bay, where the sharks were supposed to be.
We were with 20 people on board, divided in three groups, which took turns sitting in the cage. We dropped anchors and got into our wetsuit’s. When one group was in the cage the others could sit on top of the boat to see the shark from above, really well. The crewmembers threw mashed sardines and some fish heads attached to a line in the water. After a while the first sharks came to the surface. The first group climbed into the cage, we were sitting upstairs, and there were several shark attacks on the line with fish heads. This was really impressive, seeing the shark circling the boat and then going in for the attack. We were thrilled when it was our turn to go into the cage now!
After the second group had a go we went into the cage, all feeling like sardines in a cage. Testing our mask we had quite a good view under water. The guys on the boat yelled at us “DOWN” when the shark was near the cage. DOWN! We took a deep breath and went under water. The shark opened his mouth with his razorblade teeth trying to take a bite out of the fish heads. Just passing the cage we were all amazed, laughing out loud at what we had just experienced. A couple of times the shark came back and as a finale he went for the fish right in front of us so fiercely that it bumped right into our cage! What an adrenaline rush that was!
Hermanus Whale Fest
We had some lunch when we were back in the bay, watching the movie that was made on the boat with all the shark attacks on it. We bought the DVD. After this we headed back home. Maarten had to catch his flight to Johannesburg so we had to hurry up a bit. We headed to Hermanus for some food. There was also a “Whale Festival”, where people were watching the whales with some good food and beers. We also saw a few whales breach. We couldn’t stay for too long so we headed to the airport where we waved Maarten a goodbye.
Afterwards we went to the beerhouse for some beers with Mathijs and some other students from Genadendal, we told them all about our new once-in-a-life-time experience.
The next day we just relaxed on the beach. Another great weekend! I don’t know what we’re up to next weekend but I bet it will be pretty awesome. Hey, we are awesome ;P. Hope you enjoyed reading again.
We rode off to Houtbay with these amazing scooters. The experience had us laughing the whole time. Wind blowing in your face, great weather, some amazing views and squashing flies on your helmet! Feeling freeeeeee!!! When we passed Houtbay we drove up Chapman’s peak. Here we stopped at some places. The views of Houtbay were extraordinary. Driving along the coast feeling a little breeze of wind, smelling the ocean we felt invincible on our bikes and driving as fast as possible, which got us in a bit in trouble later.
Visit at Boulders Beach
We had already been to Boulders Beach – but not Niel’s brother Maarten. So we made a quick stop. Also, the last time we visited boulders beach there weren’t that many penguins. Luckily there were more this time, at the entrance to greet us. But unluckily no more further on. Bummer, but we still got some nice pictures.
Drive to Cape Point and First Baboon Encounter
After seeing the penguins we drove up to the entrance of Cape point and then looked down at our fuel gauges: just 2 bars left! After much consideration we would try and make it to cape point and back to Simon’s town to fill up again. On our way to cape point there were some baboons at the side of the road. There were 6 baboons, 4 adults and 2 were carrying babies. We stopped at a safe distance and took some pictures. Our first encounter with baboons!
Cape Point Whale Sighting
We parked our scooters at the designated places, and walked up to Cape Point. It was really beautiful. All the birds’ nests in the rock cliffs, the wide spreading ocean and beautiful nature around Cape Point. When we walked to the Point Niels and Matthijs spotted a whale below. It was getting some air before it submerged again. They could quickly make a picture of this majestic sea creature.
Now we were a bit late and had to hurry because the park was closing at a quarter to seven. So we walked back to our parking spaces. We saw a few baboons patrolling the parking lot. There were some big signs which said “Don’t feed the baboons they can be aggressive”. So Matthijs and Maarten opened a bag of crisps. Sure why not do the exact opposite of what the sign says! At once there were a few baboons walking to the scooters and claiming our spot. We put the food away and slowly got on to our scooters. There was still one baboon left, sitting next to the scooters he just sat there, wanking, as we left!
Low on Fuel and Driving in the Dark
After we got away from the baboons we still had to get to a fuel station. We only had 1 bar left on our fuel gauges on our way up to Simon’s Town, with our fingers crossed. It was becoming a bit dark but we hoped that we could see the sunset on the other side of the mountain. But first we had to find a fuel station. After 10 long kilometers and the fuel tank almost empty we finally found a fuel station. Full power again! As fast as we could, we drove to the other side of the mountain. But we were too late – the sun was already set and it was getting dark quickly. So we just drove back home in the dark, taking the chapman’s Peak drive again. I drove in front and it was sometimes difficult to estimate the corners well. We all clung tightly to our scooters because it was really cold. After an hour of riding we were back in Cape Town. We ate something in Kloof Street and headed to our beds, pleased and satisfied.
Sunday Cruising Cape Town
On Sunday we just cruised some, with our scooters. First we went to Signal Hill. It was a nice view of Cape Town. There were also some paragliders but there wasn’t enough wind for them to take off. So then we got to Clifton 4th to swim a little. Well not swimming because the water was so cold. After that we went to Victoria Wharf, ate something over there and to finish the weekend, drove up to the cable car station. We brought a good bottle of wine and some cigars and watched over the beautiful lighted city. Having fun and enjoying the good life.
Well Followers, I hoped you enjoyed reading. Probably more stories to follow. To all our South African friends I would say;
Ons sal kontak hou!